Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
Criticism of Male Ignorance
It seems that people inevitably come into the Union Hall just to eat lunch even when here's a meeting on, but when Elizabeth Wheelahan was speaking on Friday the level of distracting chatter was at an all-time high.
I was disgusted, though hardly surprised, it the outbursts of male ignorance that persisted through Elizabeth's talk.
Sexism is alive and well and rampant on campus. Confine your oral activities to mastication rather than masturbation, gents.
I was also extremely pissed off that some people - obviously not too concerned about feminism or socialism - managed to dominate discussion to the frustration of those who'd come specifically to hear the speaker.
Incidentally I would suggest that in future the dart-throwers follow their projectiles off the balcony.
- Diana Marvell.
Dope Freak Wrapped in Doped Moths
I would like to commend Salient on the fine standard of reporting in your article in Issue 7 "Dope Demon to be loosed".
I feel that it is about time that we started to take a closer look at the nasty measures being undertaken by those upholders of the public morality - being the Police Force and the University Zoology Department. More articles of this nature are required.
Keep up the good work.
- Dope Demon
Ex-president Discusses Goodall Affair
The new arrangements for office manager of the Students Association, as partially revealed in Salient No. 5, show clearly that Mrs Goodall was right in her belief that she was dumped from the position in the cause of what is known as a 'rationalisation' of the Stud. Ass. office.
The peremptory manner in which her dismissal was conveyed to her made it obvious that the Exec, members were not basing their decision on any matter of Mrs Goodall's conduct or actions since such things could easily have been ironed out in discussion with her - had they existed.
This means that those Exec, members who frantically tried, and are no doubt still trying to explain how Mrs Goodall brought her resignation upon herself, are hypocrites who without a moment's hesitation resorted to smearing her in various ways, in place of trying to uphold their view that she was of no use to the Association. For this was their view.
In her letter to Salient Diane Hooper has well-summed up the contribution Mrs Goodall made to the Association and its students.
Certainly, Mrs G. did not get along with all students. Because of what she was she did not find it easy to accomodate herself to the priggish, ambitious types who most visibly represent the tendency present in all student politics and student politicians.
This element, rather than any individual person, has had its say - with tragic consequences.
I sincerely believe that what shocked and depressed Mrs G. as much as anything was the utter inability of her accusers to even realise let alone reciprocate, the warmth and affection which she felt for the students with whom she had had contact.
Peter Wilson.Ex-President VUWSA.
Robert "Limp Parsley" Lithgow on the Mat
At first the idea of a survey of cheap eating-houses around Wellington seemed a valid on for a student newspaper, but the major achievement of the "Get Stuffed" column in Salient so far would be the vivid illustration of the objectionable social attitudes of Mr Lithgow, in particular and possibly many students in general.
His treatment of the 'Great Wall Cafe' (Salient 5) almost made us gag on our chop sueys. We do of course realise that one's taste- buds and appetites are highly subjective matters. In our experience, however, the servings at the Great Wall are quite adequate for all but the most gluttonous appetite. Again, we have had no cause for complaint at the quality of our meals, these having been uniformly well-prepared.
We note that Mr Lithgow's comments about his sweet and sour pork (ie 'a basic fish and chip batter') and duplicated in his review of the 'Sweet and Sour' restaurant. Would it be presumptuous of us to suggest that over-indulgence in the aforementioned fish and chips may have mutilated his taste-buds?
What irritates us most about Mr Lithgow's survey, however, is the arrogance and condescension of his remarks on the decor and servide of The Great Wall Cafe (eg 'soiled menu matches the shop'.... 'surroundings are dreary, decor dirty'.... 'service indifferent'). And how about this, 'No effort is exerted to serve at your table but it can be forced if you refuse to notice the food sitting on the counter'.
Poor Mr Lithgow! Maybe he would be happier in a society like South Africa, where a black could shine his shoes as part of the service.
Some of us, however, do not mind the effort of collecting our food and returning the empty dishes. Some of us do not object to surroundings which, if dreary, are certainly not dirty, as long as we can obtain a cheap, satisfying meal there.
And so some of us will contiue to visit the Great Wall Cafe while Mr Lithgow and others of his ilk continue to patronise restaurants more suited to their bourgeois sensibilities.
Yours sincerely,'Three Non-Elitist Eaters'
Malaysian Student for Truth and Justice
With the recent controversy over MSA's religious stand, Andrew Ng and Pest and Company have formed a 'holy' alliance to exorcise all the demons amongst its midst. Unfortunately, this soap bubble opera proved embarrassingly unsuited to Wellington wind.
Facts and truth can withstand and fear no criticisms. If our 'beloved' MSA executive committee has been organising activities in the interest of its members, it will naturally wish to know their response to such activities. It must sincerely and conscientiously review the rationality of their comments and criticisms, not to ridicule or hurl barrage of obscenities at members when they would not conform to its activities and propagandas. Why should any organisation be afraid to discuss the contents of its activities with its members?
Let's start with the "simple sketch.... with hilarious dialogue and acting". Was it as innocent as we are urged to believe? It was admitted to have a theme. What does it say? Does it reflect the socio-economic reality of peoples' lives? Does it tell us the root cause of the social problem? Why does it distort the basic issue to mislead us? For those who had not seen or heard of the sketch put up on MSA orientation night - it is about a NZ farmer's son who took his share of inheritance to seek the pleasure of life in music drugs, drinks, and women. Finally with all his money spent he went back to his parents begging for forgiveness, and accordingly was forgiven.
How does WMSA, who claimed to represent the Malaysian students in Wgtn, justify this sketch to reflect the real image of Malaysia to N.Z. friends and fellow Malaysian students?
What is the political-economic reality in Malaysia at the moment. People dying of starvation; squatters brutalised and evicted; students jailed and their unions banned; hundreds of political prisoners rotting in jails without trial; widespread unemployment; soaring inflation; corruption and power struggle among the comprador-bureaucrats; suppression and terror an everyday affair; democracy becomes a mockery while fascism reigns; etc, etc. This is the real state of our country today!
Should we turn our heads and plug our ears to the cries of the people? What are our responsibilities to society and the oppressed masses? Are we to indulge in our egoistic goals and cares just for Self? What activities does MSA indulge in? Dance, dine and wine, Merdeka Ball, MSA Disco, etc. What sort of propaganda does MSA parrot? Tourist films lauding Malaysia's 'progress'; pretty Malaysian damsels in the latest fashion; mystic mosques and temples; religious and disciplined peoples; starving peasants 'smiling'; pot-bellied little children preferred working in the fields to schooling!
We can conclude from these activities that the MSA Executive committees have in the past and at present, deliberately covered up all the socio-economic realities of Malaysia while fervently propagating bourgeois entertainment and pro-government jargons. Hence, when criticised it became paranoiac, frothing obscentities and resortong to other lowhanded tactics. Fellow Malaysians, we must stand up for Truth and Justice!
Gary (the Much-Maligned) Henderson Maligned Further
Without taking recourse to self-denegration by lowering myself to point out some of the more obvious factual errors cropping up in Andrew Kear's paean to malconstruction and simple-minded bigotry (the one that you mistakenly allowed to cast a shadow over a recent letters page) I would like to take this opportunity to expand upon some of the points I made in issue 4.
Firstly, I stand by what I said about Gary Henderson's political views. I am, I could well say, rather pleased that he has finally managed to pick some up, but I am sorely dissappointed that a man with hair as red as his could have been bought off by the forces of capitalism without a struggle.
This sad occurence has destroyed any faith that I may have originally had in any residual amount of intelligence resident in his slowly vegetating head. One only has to look at the Piggy Party's TV propoganda to see just how logical and subtle the forces of the right are in the propogation of their particular point of view, so it logically follows that Gary must have had a rather substantial persuader from aforesaid capitalists.
I would be interested to know just when he is finishing his degree, how long he has been a member of Christian Union and why he is using the name Andrew Kear, is incapable of writing an open and honest letter. Maybe it is because they are foreign virtues to him?
Mystified Student Hits Out at Powerful Forces of Duplicity
Dear Someone in Salient,
Could you please find out and publish why last Fridays Rock Concert was cancelled so suddenly.
Whose fault was it and why?
There didn't seem to be too much activity about during the week, (ie not much advertising and I suspect it was because of someone's laziness and I wouldn't like them to get away without everyone knowing about it.
Also, was the band to be playing paid a booking fee or maybe it was the band's fault the thing was cancelled.
Could someone find out for us (me) - and other students.
Salient has investigated the mysterious rock concert advertised for Friday and has been unable to discover what happened to it. We suggest that it may have had something to do with April 1st or someone kidnapped is as a Capping stunt -Ed.
Westbrooke Challenges President Beckford.
The recent revelations of CIA spying on the Socialist Action league, and the Victoria University Socialist Club (the forerunner of the Young Socialist!) should have embarrassed to hell those who consider themselves left-wingers who ever repeated slanders that we are 'financed by the CIA'. Not so however for our president Gyles Beckford. On the march to protest Rockefeller's visit, we were discussing the fact that the Young Socialists now have their own magazine. Young Socialist', as well as distributing the fortnightly 'Socialist Action'. When this was contrasted with the recent demise of 'The Paper', Gyles became quite upset and started to mutter about "money from the CIA".
This type of absurd slander fits in more with the red-smear campaigns that were prevalent in the Cold War than with rational political discussion. Paranoia and enmity between left-wingers is just what the CIA and the SIS like to see: they even go out of their way to foster it. The CIA called its programme to create dissension of this type Operation Chaos, the very programme that involved their spying in New Zealand, on the VUW Socialist Club, Socialist Action and on Salient itself.
When will Gy les learn to leave smear campaigns to Truth, and to direct his energies at Rockefeller and Muldoon and their cohorts - who authorise and cover up for the secret police activities of the CIA and SIS.
— Ian Westbrooke.
Although your criticisms are valid (if the facts are true). I would remind you that the Young Socialists and Socialist Action League have had a long record of creating "enmity between leftwingers ". You may not have a very long memory, but I'm sure those in the anti-war and antiapartheid movements have -Ed.
Marshall on Pathetic Petty Parking Perverts
I think its about time someone put pen to paper and did a moan about the pathetic parking restrictions around the perimeter of this institution. Its bloody ridiculous that vehicle owners are confind to two hour limits in Salamanca Road, Kelburn Parade, and Glasgow Street among others; and it would take a hypocrite to suggest that all students with vehicles should park in the Waiteata Road car park - a region which eaten for about sixty or so vehicles.
Most students are on campus for most of the day, excluding part timers, and just don't have time to shoot off to their car and shift it every two hours. Yet, we get those little finks, on their little bikes and wearing their little plastic helmets, crawling around with their white chalk and little black books dishing out pieces of paper to whoever they see fit
To 'who they see fit' comprises of poverty-striken, hard-done students who, because of political abstinence, aren't even earning money, but are expected to pay fines.
I can't afford an axe, so how about some authoritarian moving into more, positive action. We, as students, are not here to keep the cops in a job nor are we here to feed the state with capital.
Stormy Malaysians Spilling Out of Teacups
Over the past issues of Salient, another Malaysian storm has brewed in a teacup. It spilled, and what a bloody mess it was. Allegations and counter-allegations, name-calling, cursing swearing, 4-letter words, promises, intimidation, bribery and what have you - typical lurid Malaysian squabbles. Yes and no it is developing into a significant issue.
As the smog of confusion slowly decends upon the Malaysian population in Wellington, the MSA heavies whose policies instigated the storm, remained appalingly uncommitted. Where is Leo Ann Puat our MSA President, and all the MSA [unclear: spolosmen]? Now is the time to make your stand. We won t tolerate TIDAK APA or "no comment" attitude from Malaysian students' representatives.
John Chin where are ya? Ain't ya gonna write another donkey-evolution theory, please? I love to read they goodam jokes, man
— Malayan observer.
WONAAC Defends Submissions
In reply to Carl Telford's criticism of the WONAAC submission in Salient (Issue No.7):
Telford misrepresented the submission by saying it claimed: "because of the incidence of illegal abortion, the solution is to legalise abortion." What the submission says is that unless unwanted pregnancy is recognised as legal grounds for an abortion, illegal abortion will continue, since for most women seeking abortion, there are no additional reasons such as risk to health, etc. Of the countries listed by Telford (where in spite of "legalisation", illegal abortion continues to exist), none allow abortion on request, that is, they do not consider having an unwanted pregnancy sufficient grounds. In some of the countries (Japan, Eastern Europe), the liberal laws air based on population considerations, and a woman's chances of legal abortion may be related to the number of children she has so far produced, if any. In Sweden, women must put their case before an abortion committee, which decides who get an abortion and who does not.
As long as women are unsure that their own reasons for wanting an abortion will meet with approval and consent by the authorities, some will still turn to the backstreet abortionist in the hope of certain relief.
Telford used quotes to back up his assertion that legalising abortion does not get rid of illegal abortion. The first merely said that increased illegal abortion accompanied increased legal abortion in East Germany. That tells us nothing about the ratio of legal to illegal abortion following liberalisation. The second quote simply verified what I explained above: that "liberalisation" will not invariably replace illegal abortions with legal ones.
Given the clandestine nature of illegal abortion, it is very difficult to determine the effect of legalisation on illegal abortion. It is significant that in New York State, where the law was changed in 1970 to allow abortion on request up to the 24th week or pregnancy, both the maternal death rate from abortion, and hospital admissions for incomplete abortion, reduced dramatically in a short time.(l) These are two of the visible results of illegal abortion, and are surely the "horrors" which Telford complained would still be with us if we make abortion legal.
Regarding the safety of abortion, WONAAC left it to others to elaborate on this point, since our case does not rest on it. As we said, there are dangers, but they in no way compare with the dangers of backstreet abortion, to which upholders of restrictive abortion laws would drive women. But to substantiate the claim that early abortion is safer than childbirth: in the first two years after liberalisation of the New York law, the maternal mortality rate for abortions performed before the 12th week was 1.9per 100,000. In New Zealand in 1971, the maternal death rate at childbirth was 22 per 100,000. Further, from data in the British Lane Report, in England and Wales in 1971, carrying a pregnancy to term was 5.29 times as likely to result in death as having a legal abortion before the 13th week.
Telford's "evidence" to the contrary included two references from the infamous 'Wynn Report' to the Lane Committee. The Wynn's highly selective "study", financed by a Foundation set up by the British SPUC, has been questioned by many, and it failed to convince the Lane Committee. The risks of abortion quoted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists apply with equal if not greater force during childbirth, and yet the good doctors do not propose to limit that (perhaps because of their vested interests).
What about the dangers of appendectomy, tonsillectomy, or brain surgery? People die from these, even with the best of medical care, yet no-one is proposing to ban them. Instead, improvements in technique are sought. The same should apply to the shockingly neglected area of abortion, and birth prevention in general.
Telford's claim that the rights of the "unborn child" have been established in law for centuries is not true. Abortion laws are a recent development.(2) England's first criminal abortion statute came in 180S, and even that made a distinction at the stage of "quickening". Throughout the nineteenth century, and more strict. As late as 1920, the French government enacted a strict abortion law. The reason: to increase the population following the war. So much for the rights of the foetus. Telford quotes the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as "proof that the "unborn child" has rights. Who is the United Nations but a collection of representatives of governments? And how many of those governments have stood up for women's rights? How much do they represent the half of humanity that has differed under their abortion laws?
Carl Telford equates "human life" with "human being", saying the destruction of the first equals the destruction of the second. Would he then prohibit contraception, since by his logic, the destruction of the life of a human ovum or sperm means "killing a human being"! WONAAC considers that a foetus is a potential human being, a potential person. A woman is an actual human being, and we believe in her democratic right to decide when and if she will reproduce.
This seems to be the issue that Telford is most muddled on. The "real problem", in his view, is that women can't have the children they conceive because of economic or social circumstances it is true that if women are really to have the right to choose, substantial resources will need to be put at their disposal to enable them to have children without hardship. (And incidentally, a pregnant woman, under strict abortion laws, cannot be said to have even the "right" to choose to continue the pregnancy - she is obliged to.)
But to assume that all or most women seeking abortion would really rather have a child is chauvinistic nonsense. Large numbers of women choose abortion because they have decided that either they want no children, they don't want them yet, or they don't want more than they already have. They do not want their lives to be dominated by unexpected pregnancies and unwanted children. They do want to shape and live a life of their own choosing.
They are rejecting the sexist idea that "anatomy is destiny", a view held by such notable anti-abortionists as Adolf Hitler.
— Kay Goodger,WONAAC.
|(1)||Guttmacher, Liberalised Abortion in N.Y. In "Abortion, Society & the Law", Walbert & Butler, eds. 1973.|
|(2)||See text of US Supreme Court decision, supplement in above;|
Editorial Distortion Corrected
While I accept your right to report meetings of NZUSA National Executive as you see fit I feel I must correct your assertion that a motion of no confidence was passed against me at Canterbury university, for my voting at the Asian Students' Association Conference last November.
While supporters of the Israeli state (rather than supporters of NZUSA policy) have moved such motions on some campuses in New Zealand, none have been parsed. No such motion was even moved at Canterbury, let alone succeeded.
A Reader who Hates Slithering Supplements Puts View on Indoctrination.
I open Salient this week, and what do I see? A supplement extolling the virtues of abortion.
I opened my freeby magazine on Enrolment day (you know - the one we allget that is supposed to make students think that they get things free ill the time) and out slithers a HART propaganda sheet.
Regardless of what one's views are on both of those issues, there are more legitimate methods of making your views read. Why secret them in a magazine that you know will be read by all? Dirty pool is the name of the game.
I would have had no objections, O.E.B.B.A. (One-Eyed Bigoted Bag? for Abortion) if your shitsheet had read like the usual friendly handout, but abortion is a woman's right' glaring me in the sheer arrogance.
Melodramatically yours,Not Indoctrinated.
Pui and Other Patriots Defended
Letter to Everybody,
The 'Poem to Pui" by 'concerned', (Salient issue No. 6) is obviously to blacken Pui's image and set a trap for Robert Pui by stirring and forcing him back to his home country.
The ultimate result of the home journey will be to Jail. The Malaysian Government could arrest him either immediately or some time after his arrival.
If the latter is chosen, it is to avoid provoking international protests particularly from NZ and Australia. The Government could also add 'made-up' charges to Pui for his arrest as in the case of Khoo and many victims. Is that 'Democracy'?
Can we continue to remain silent forever while well aware of the truth about home affairs and that the Government is imposing oppressive, fascist and non-democratic measures upon the people?
No, of course Not!! So we have to speak up for the oppressed people in such an unjust society! A very good example is Robert Pui.
Every Malaysian and Singaporean student jolly well knows that should anybody stand out openly to speak about the truths and fight for the oppressed, he would ultimately be arrested when he goes back to his country. Despite this, Robert decided to sacrifice himself and choose this alternative to speak out.
His other personal sacrifices includes
- possible harassment by Government to his family in Malaysia,
- academic work etc.
Hence, we should acknowledge that Robert Pui has the guts to speak out. The real cowards are those like 'concerned' who do nothing but scoff at others.
For a person who really loves his own country and people, I'm sure he would very much wish to serve his country and people and fight for the oppressed directly in his country. It would be unrealistic for for Robert to return now to do what he wishes under the present fascist Government.
|1.||Telling all the people in New Zealand of the true situation in his home country,|
|2.||Provoke discussion and thoughts etc.|
Haven't we seen that the international pressure on Razak Government and the pressure upon Jack de Silva were definitely having an effect? Also the effect of international pressure on the release of Khoo, Tan Wah Piow and Juliet Chin?
Similarly. Henry Isaacs is another example who tells us the unjust doings of the fascist government in South Africa. Haven't we learnt a lot from his too? Can we take the attitudes of the 'concerned' to mock at him and brand him a 'coward'? Are we to demand he rots in Ian Smith's Jails to express his love for his people and country?
NUIS Debate Debated
After having attended and observed last weeks SRC concerning the NUIS motion for reinstatement into ASA we feel that Mr Adrian Shine has done nothing but cast a gloomy shadow on this regrettable situation.
Although never failing to arouse the adrenalin we feel that of late he has lost much of his debating charm, that Hot even tinted glasses can make up for.
We too sympathised with Mr Shine's emotional outbursts but feel that such infantile uncontrolled releases of passion hold no place in these halls of Academia.
Please Mr Shine for the sake of harmony and understanding our advice to you is cither 'shape up or ship out'
Upholders of moral decency.
Could some 'enlightened' person on the Exec, please justify this alarming example of elitism?
"Executive Motion 83/76
'That only executive members and Union staff be permitted into the Association office except by specific permission from officer Manager'
If you are in the office without authorisation you will be asked to leave.
Signed,Four Concerned Students
Poet Pui Puts Pen to Paper
Let me assure 'Concerned' that I have always known that the 'seat of our struggles is in Malaysia and that I have every intention of going home. He should perhaps talk to me and find out what my plans are in this respect, before he writes another poem.
There is a rumour being circulated by some 'concerned' Malaysians in their idle talks, that I have planned my last ditch stand here. This nonsense is being used by subversive elements to create disillusionment and disunity among those who support what we are attempting to do here.
It goes as follows: 'Robert Pui has no intention of going home and therefore he can afford to shoot off his mouth here' etc, etc. A different version tells of my parents fleeing to the USA (of all places) and that I would be joining them! That was one time when humans could travel as fast as rumours! They informed me that they are still in Malaysia, when I asked when they had moved to the US.
However, the purpose of such stories is clearly intended to weaken the resolve of many of us to fight against government oppression. We should ignore these and carry on with the important objective of deepening political consciousness among Malaysians.
The other argument raised by 'Concerned' is that when we are overseas we should shut up and not articulate about what is happening in Malaysia. I interprete his poem as such. Jack da Silva said the same thing in 1973 when he criticised us for exposing the corruption in our society and how the people suffer under the present system.
If 'Concerned' is so concerned he should also do something about the situation. The main struggle is at home, but is also important to carry on the struggle on an international level.
I compose a rough poem here for the Malaysian who should be questioning themselves rather than bitching about the motives of others:
Where were you
when our generals rallied us in the waves of struggles
at home and abroad?
The generals who thought not of themselves but their troops,
Hisham, Kassim, Hussein Ali and his brother who is carving tombstones
Was not Juliet Chin Phe valiant woman fighter whom Lee deported
and Razak locked up for showing slides of Tasek Utara?
One by one they have been locked up.
Said Zahari has been there for over 13 years
Many have been put in cold storage
Have you rallied to their liberation?
We are concerned
A degree, dollars signs in our eyes and a name for ourselves.
Maybe one day 'I will be rich and a Dato'
If not I will buy one'?
Is this not the reason for shutting up and shutting others up?
'Shut up!Shut up!
You are jeopardising my future, my brother's my sister's......'
But in their millions they will drown your selfishness
They will unite against you all
exploiters of the poor, ignorant and helpless
They will have their freedom to decide for themselves
Not you experts deciding for them
That's why you want them to shut up.
And where were you when we laid seige to those at the Bay
and at the Cook?
Were you cowering behind some paper
saying 'I have nothing to do with them shut them up!:
Cowering behind the skirts of.....?
So you are concerned